We’re not on vengeance mission against Juventus, says Koke
Atletico Madrid captain Koke insists revenge is not a motivating factor ahead of the Champions League rematch with Juventus today.
The Spanish side entertain the Serie A champions just over six months on from their capitulation in the second leg of last season’s rollercoaster round-of-16 tie.
Diego Simeone’s men appeared on course for the quarter-finals following a 2-0 home win but collapsed in the return encounter as a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick earned Juve a 3-2 aggregate victory.
The turnaround in Turin extended Atletico’s wait for Champions League glory, yet Koke is not worried about getting one back on the Bianconeri.
“Not, revenge no. Every year is different,” the midfielder told Marca.
“It is true that we are going to play against one of the best teams in the world, with great players, and it will be a nice game.
“But what matters to us is to try to get out of the group, which is our goal, and to beat Juventus or whoever we come up against.”
He added: “To tell the truth, it was inexplicable [to lose].
“Just like anyone, one day on the job is not the same as another. We had a bad day, they were good and the goals were in specific moments, in the middle of the first half, at the beginning of the second and then at the end.”
Stefan Savic watched the match unfold from the bench and views it as the “worst” of his four years at the club.
The centre-back appears likely to start this time around and warned his team-mates against focusing solely on stopping Juve star Ronaldo.
“Juve are much more than Cristiano,” Savic said. “They have great champions in their team. Ronaldo is one of the most important players in history and we will be watchful.”